Mobile Internet growth

Total data consumed by Opera Mini users worldwide from 2006 to mid-2008 in TB

Mobile Internet growth is the growth of the Internet when accessed via a mobile phone, laptop, etc. Mobile phone connections are increasing more rapidly than purchases of any other consumer product, according to Tomi Ahonen.[1] Since this article was published there were a number of announcements stating that half the world now had mobile phones.[2] The articles in 2007-2008 were slightly misleading because the real story at the time was that the number of mobile phone subscriptions had reached half the population of the world. In reality many people have more than one subscription. For example in Hong Kong, Italy and the Ukraine, the mobile phone penetration rate has passed 140% (source wireless intelligence 2009). By 2009 even the number of unique users of mobile phones had reached half the planet, when the ITU reported that the subscriber number was to reach 4.6 billion user which means 3.8 billion activated mobile phones in use, and 3.4 billion unique users of mobile phones (source TomiAhonen Consulting 2009). The Mobile Internet data connections are following the growth of Mobile Phone connections albeit at a lower rate. In 2009 Yankee Group reported that 29% of all mobile phone users globally were accessing browser-based internet content on their phones. According to the BBC, there are now (2010) over 5 billion mobile phone users in the world. [3]


Regional variations

Many users in Europe and the United States are already users of the fixed internet when they first try the same experience on a mobile phone. Meanwhile in other parts of the world, such as India, their first usage of the Internet is on a mobile phone. Growth is fastest in parts of the world where the personal computer (PC) is not the first user experience of the Internet. India, South Africa, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are seeing the fastest growth in Mobile Internet usage. To a great extent this is due to the rapid adoption of mobile phones themselves. For example, the Morgan Stanley report states that the highest mobile phone adoption growth in 2006 was in Pakistan and India[4].

China has 155 million mobile internet users as of June, 2009.[5] Despite the large number of mobile internet users in China, revenues from mobile ecommerce are only expected to reach 55 million RMB in 2009.[6]

Predicted growth

AMD, the semiconductor manufacturer, is predicting that, by 2015, 50% of the world will have an Internet connection.[7] Much of their initiative centres round the introduction of cheap PCs to the developing world, but the reality is much of the internet usage growth they predict will come from Mobile phones. Phone Count[8] predicts that by 2012 there will be as many connected mobile phones as there are people in the world.

See also

  • Flat rate


  1. ^ Communities Dominate Brands: Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users
  2. ^
  3. ^ BBC News - Over 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide
  4. ^ Shugal Mela | Google Mobile Growth in India
  5. ^
  6. ^ Mobile E-Commerce Business Projected to Generate ¥170m by 2011
  7. ^
  8. ^ Phone Count

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